Piercings and Minors Often Don't Mix Well

Hello Elayne!

I was wondering what info you could give me on laws pertaining to piercing minor's nipples? I know it's illegal, however I can't seem to find any laws supporting my claim and I'm thinking you'd know much more on this.

The reason i ask is because this 14 year-old-girl has her nipples pierced and I'm talking to someone currently about the law in the US on this subject. I'm also wondering if you know if it's legal or not to discuss nipple piercings with minors? I know it's illegal to talk to them about genital piercings, however I was wondering if this also applies to nipple piercings?

And one last note, I am 18 years old just incase any of this would be illegal to discuss with a minor.

Thanks so much for your time!
M.

Hi M.,
I know that we have corresponded previously.

I would not discuss it with a minor with the exception to explain that I cannot perform, nor even talk about such piercings until the individual is 18 years of age or older with proof-positive ID.

Does the health department regulate piercings in your area? If so you could contact them.

There's also the industry standard from the Association of Professional Piercers with a FAQ posting here.

And there's this from The Piercing Bible:

Piercees must be responsible and disciplined, but many young people lack these qualities, especially when faced with an extended healing time. Readiness cannot be determined by the achievement of a certain age, but young people should wait until their bodies are fully developed before getting a piercing below the neck. If their anat- omy has not yet matured, a piercing could end up in an undesirable location by time the body has finished growing.

Parental attitudes vary, but even a mother who has piercings herself may not be ready to give her teen permission to get one. If you are an accommodating parent who agrees to go along with a nipple or genital piercing for your minor child (under the age of eighteen), take note: any piercer willing to perform this task has terrible judgment, poor ethics, and risks the possibility of being charged with sexual assault of a minor. Moreover, signing a consent form for your underage child to get an adult piercing could result in a charge of reckless endangerment of a minor against you.

Regulations for piercing vary on aspects such as minimum age requirements, the extent of parental involvement, and which piercings are legally sanctioned for minors. Studio policies also differ depending on the principles of the piercer. Some will pierce minors only with a parent present, even if the law is more lax.

You could try calling an attorney and asking if they could simply tell you the potential ramifications of a piercer performing nipple piercings on a minor (and/or a parent permitting it). I just today had a mother contact me. She wanted me to REDO a nostril piercing and perform a navel piercing on her 11-year-old daughter! (See below.)

Sincerely,
Elayne

Dear Angel,
I let my 11 year old get her nose pierced and the school took it out...she wants to redo the piercing in the summer which i have no problem with...she also wants a belly button piercing my question is-is she to young to have a belly button done at this age...she wants to have it done during the summer break before she goes to 7th grade..we will be traveling to Mexico and the beach-would there be more concern for infection to be having it and within wks being in water??? and do you thing she is too young???

R.,

It is nice of you to be supportive of your daughter but it is not at all appropriate for someone so young to get any body piercings. I would not be willing to do them for her at this age under any circumstances. Also, piercers willing to do the job for you are not among the ethical practitioners of my profession. PLEASE wait until she is older. I'd suggest 16 as the bare minimum age for nostril and navel piercings.

When she is of a sutiable age for piercing, the beach will not be a very safe environment for her when she's healing piercings.

I reiterated the information fom The Piercing Bible that is shared above.